Friday, November 16, 2012

Distinguished Panel To Present At Monday's Forum

I'm excited about the panelists who will present at our noon to 1:30 community forum this Monday, November 19, at the Massanutten Regional Library on the use of GPS monitoring technology. The focus will be on ways of reducing jail overcrowding and providing pretrial and post trial monitoring for non-violent offenders who can thus continue to support their families, pay their court costs and fines, and function under appropriate supervision and pay their debt to society (see November 12  blog).

Invite your friends to join you to hear the following persons speak and answer questions. Local citizen Earl Martin may also give a brief report of his experience of volunteering to wear a monitoring bracelet over the past week.

The Honorable Brian L. Shipwash is a leading national expert on pretrial release policies, bail bonding, and related issues of jail overcrowding. Mr. Shipwash has worked on these issues in North Carolina, Virginia, and states across the country. Mr. Shipwash believes that jail overcrowding can be significantly reduced by streamlining the judicial process. He also aggressively supports the use of GPS technology coupled with secured conditions that can ensure that the defendant will appear for trial. Mr. Shipwash is the elected Clerk of Superior Court in Davidson County, North Carolina. The Superior Court is similar to Circuit Courts in Virginia. Mr. Shipwash also serves as a Judge of Probate in North Carolina.

Rev. Micheal Donovan is the founder of Nexus Programs, a religious based organization that provides pretrial diversion and GPS tracking services for defendants in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. Nexus works to reduce jail overcrowding by providing resources to Courts, Prosecutors, and Judges to mitigate the risk of flight and danger to the public in releasing defendants on bond prior to trial. Nexus also works to provide diversion programming designed to reduce offender recidivism and stop the revolving door in our criminal justice system. Rev. Donovan served as Executive Director of Nexus Programs until August of 2012. He now is a full time law student and continues to serve on the board of Nexus Programs and works in an advisory role with the organization. Rev. Donovan is also associate pastor of the River Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

William Wiesband is a licensed bail agent and owner of Private Pretrial Reports in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Mr. Weisband provides GPS tracking to bail bond clients and assists in evaluating criminal defendants for the Courts prior to their trials. Mr. Weisband has worked as a bail bondsman for nearly ten years, and has years of experience as a licensed insurance agent. Mr. Weisband has been a vocal proponent of the commercial bail bond industry and of well regulated GPS tracking technology. 
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